Saturday, August 18, 2007

Leaving Japan

I've been in China for eight days now. It's been fun and exciting and I have lots of stories but it feels wrong to write about China without talking about Japan first.

I left Japan last Thursday. Word got around that I was taking the 12:32 train out of Sakawa and the whole town turned out to see me off.

Friends, teachers, students, the mayor, my tea ceremony teacher, the vice-principal. Almost everyone who meant anything to me during the past year was there.

My friends.

My tea ceremony teacher.

My supervisor and her daughters.

Everyone crowded out on to the platform as my train pulled up to the station.

I took this photo of my students waving goodbye on the other side of the glass.

When the train pulled out of the station, they started running after it. And then they were gone.

There were tears. Lots of tears. I cried at the train station. I cried on the train. I cried all the way to Osaka. It's still really hard for me to write about it or even look at pictures. I feel like I'm in mourning. Not a day has gone by when I don't think about Japan and the people I've left behind. And yet part of me feels like I'm on vacation and that I'll be going back to Japan after it's over. I'm not sure it's really going to hit me until I'm back in Canada . . .

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